Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mobile blogging and Mother's Day

I just figured out how to blog from my iPhone!! Maybe I can actually
post some now....

Mother's Day was great! I've spent the past 6 years wondering if we
would ever add another child to our family, so having Cole here was so
special. We spent the day as we do most a baseball
tournament! Kels hit a triple to win the championship game. He said
it was a gift to me! Here are my boys, with Maddie behind the camera.

I'm so blessed this year!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

8 months home!

I can't believe how time has flown. This week marks eight months home. Cole is a totally different kid today than August 9th when we stepped off the plane from Russia. While I can't recap it all in one post, here are the highlights:

  • He talks NONSTOP in english. We are sad that he will not respond to Russian anymore, but he absolutely does not want to hear it. He closes his eyes and pretends he's asleep if anyone tries. He still uses a few Russian words, but he doesn't realize it. Peesit, kakat and bolna are the major ones. He talks in sentences - 5-8 words and is beginning to use pronouns appropriately.

  • He sleeps through the night! We gave up naps, and that was the saving grace. He actually asks to go to bed now! He will regress some after a big day - it took a week to settle down after SeaWorld, but he did get back into his routine.

  • He has grown FIVE inches. We brought him home in an 18-24 month and he is now in 3T and 4T. It is amazing the difference. We have a door we mark all the kids on, and it blows me away to mark his height. He and his 14 year old brother are both having growth spurts!

  • He introduces himself as an animal. After SeaWorld, he has been either a dolphin or sealion. We aren't sure why he does this, but it is comforting for him to be an animal vs. a little boy. I am mama sealion, we have papa sealion and he is baby sealion. I guess I'll worry about it if he still does it at Kindergarten.

  • He attends Mothers Day out one day a week and Gymnastics one day a week. He does well in both and looks forward to them.

  • He is a water boy. As soon as he gets a new toy (usually an animal) he wants to take a bath. He is fearless at the pool and we are starting swimming lessons next week. He already holds his breath and goes under water. He loves water slides! He is actually too short to go down the one at our gym, but they let him anyway because he loves it. When we drive by Six Flags or the water park, he asks to go and ride the rides.!

  • He is the ultimate little brother. He emulates his 14 year old brother and loves to annoy his 13 year old sister. He knows what buttons to push with her, and does it very well!

  • He is still a mama's boy, but he and papa are bonding more and more all the time. I still carry him A LOT and he gets frantic at home when he can't find me. But if we are in a large area with lots of people, he doesn't mind wandering off. Drives us crazy. We are seriously considering getting a Toddler tracker for him. He never looks back. We know this is an issue to watch and are starting to work with him on stranger danger and having consequences if he doesn't stay close to us.

  • One curious thing, he has never dropped his Russian nickname, even though we have (more than 4 months ago). He responds to Cole, but he calls himself Tima or Tima-Cole. Everything we read says they transition so easily, but not our kid! He doesn't get upset that we call him Cole, never even mentions it, but just continues to refer to himself as his Russian nickname.

  • More than anything, he is a happy, giggly, mischevious little boy/sealion/zebra/giraffe/ .....who we can't believe we are blessed to call our son. I have never felt more lucky in my life than with him. For all the little issues we deal with, we have (knock on wood) avoided many of the big ones we prepared for. I know we will always be ready if they arise, but right now we just are thankful for are well adjusted little boy!

I'm as bad at taking pictures as I am at blogging, but the slideshow has pictures from various times this year

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Santa Closet is coming to town

come on, sing along...Santa Claus-it coming to town. That's how Cole hears it, so that is who is coming to our house, Santa Closet. It's too funny to correct! He has fully bought into American commercialism of the holiday and has a list a mile long, and adds something new each time we go to a store. He has seen Santa three times, and asks each day to "sit on the lap again?" . He's going to break the bank, because I have to buy pictures each time, because he is just so cute! He also understands about being a good boy, because each time he gets in trouble he responds with toy? Santa? Not that it keeps him out of trouble for long, he finds it again quickly. But look at this face and see if you could stay mad very long!

Merry Christmas to the blog world. May the Peace of Christ be with each of you during this busy time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Readoption Ceremony

Last week we were able to readopt Cole in the state of Texas. Although there are other, and probably less expensive ways, to get a birth certificate, we wanted to participate in this ceremony. We now have an adoption certificate in Texas, will have a birth certificate from Texas (still stating birth place of Smolensk, Russia). This way we can store the Russian birth certificate and adoption decree for Cole to have in the future. Those documents are virtually irreplaceable and we don't want to use them for little league and school. The best reason for the ceremony, though, was to have all of our family there. Our older kids, our parents, and even my two grandmothers all got to stand before the judge and raise their right hands and swear to love Cole forever as a brother, nephew, grandson. I can never express in words how much that meant to us. The judges chambers were decorated in bears and balloons and it was such a festive occasion. Here are some pictures from our day in court:

Just part of the 13 family members that came, with our Judge....

The courtroom where more than 15 families got to participate:

My grandmothers were both able to be there. This was incredibly special, and somewhat bittersweet, as I lost both of my grandfathers this year, one while we were in Russia. I was so glad to have Nanny and Mimi there.

Cole telling us that he will be ready to leave in a "minutika":

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One year ago....

we received our referral. The call was a shock as with the reaccreditation problems, we weren't expecting anything for months. After the call, we figured things would move quickly. I never imagined it would take 10 more months to bring him home. But, I'll go with the cliche that I swore to never use....IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT.

The picture on the left is his referral picture, taken on Oct 1, 2006. The second was taken on October 9, 2007 - home exactly 2 months.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

His transition object ?!?!?

Cole hasn't really chosen that "special" object that kids often do....until now. You ought to see him trying to drag "that one" up and down the stairs, into the chair, on the bed. We think that he hears "that one" when we say "dragon". Kel won this at Six Flags several years ago and Cole found it in his closet. It is a good foot taller than him!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Learning English when you have teenage siblings....

Time is flying. I can't believe that as of tomorrow, we will have been home for two months. Cole's transition has been nothing like what we expected. The hard stuff we expected hasn't come to pass - knocking on wood as I type...(lack of understanding, attachment issues, food issues), but it has been hard in different ways. He's busy, into everything and won't take no, niet, no sir, nope... any of those... for an answer.

What has been so funny is his language acquisition. Who would have thought that "No, Dude" would be one of his first sentences? Or that when asking for "musica" his requests would be for rap songs - "Walk it out" or "Soldja Boy" (I probably didn't spell that correctly!) It has been quite arbitrary what he chooses to say, though he is talking ALL DAY LONG. We can have full conversations and he understands what we say. He regularly uses 2-4 word sentences and from what I can tell from my research, that is really good. His pronunciation needs some work, but he will get there.

Here are some of the things we hear alot:

  • Where's the football?
  • Oh, man!
  • Where's the balloon? - he's obsessed with balloons.
  • Maci, be quiet - that is our dog.
  • Swimming? Jumping? - his favorite things to do
  • Buzz and Woody video? - only thing he will watch!
  • Papa working?
  • Minutika - usually said while shaking his finger at you - means he will get to whatever you asked him to do in a minute!
  • Close the door - all doors must be closed at all times!
  • Mama, come here - still a top ten.
  • What happened ____? he leaves out the word "to" but then finishes the sentence.
  • Mama, find it?
  • and, his favorite - speet all done? Which means, I don't want to take a nap!

I don't think his looks have changed much since he got home, but here are some recent pictures. He has gained 2 lbs and grown about 1/2 inch.

He is in his puppy costume waiting for the bus with Maddie (Maddie's not thrilled with this, as it cramps her style!)

And, in his Romo jersey ready to yell Touchdown at any cheering on the TV!